They want to bring you along
BEAUFORT (S.C.), February 2, 2022 — A Beaufort, SC couple, Bernie and April Hester (known on the trail as Mule & Inchworm), begin the journey of a life time after 2 years of delays caused by Covid-19. The couple will attempt to hike the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine, raising awareness for Multiple Sclerosis. A thru-hike is a journey that covers 2,200 miles in 12 months. It involves traversing mountains, trails and cities. April, who has multiple sclerosis (MS), hopes her efforts, dubbed “Finish MS Hike”, will help raise awareness about multiple sclerosis and inspire others with the incurable disease.
It is important to remember that April isn’t the only one with multiple sclerosis. Her case is one of approximately 400 cases of multiple sclerosis that are being diagnosed every week. This adds to the over 1,000,000 Americans living with this debilitating neurological condition. Multiple sclerosis is most commonly diagnosed in between 20 and 40 years of age. However, it can also be caused by any age.
To prepare for the upcoming hike, the couple have hiked the 500-mile Palmetto Trail in South Carolina four more times. They also hiked the remote Foothills Trail through the South Carolina mountains twice.
Suzette Anderson, of the Palmetto Conservation Foundation (PCF), says that although there are thousands of people who hike the Palmetto trail each year, only a few actually attempt to thru-hike it. April and Bernie were recognized by the PCF as Trail Ambassadors because of their valiant efforts and the debilitating effects of multiple sclerosis.
“Bernie, April and their thru-hike are an inspiration. They have raised critical awareness for MS and will be an inspiration to others.” Natalie Cappuccio Britt is the former Executive Director of PCF. A thru-hike is an amazing adventure, and it is not easy.
Although hiking 2,200 miles is a difficult task for anyone, April will have to overcome many physical obstacles throughout the hike because MS affects the central nerve system. This will be a remarkable accomplishment that, without doubt, shows April’s strength and determination, and is an inspiration to all those with MS,” Carly Arnold, Coordinator for Fundraising Support for National Multiple Sclerosis Society, said.